Believe it or not, with the onset of another snow storm in the state, it was signs of spring that put a stop to a prescribed burn that was only partially completed on the Sierra Madre range this week.

According to Melanie Fullman of the U.S. Forrest Service, a small portion of a prescribed burn was conducted on Monday, in the Big Sandstone Canyon on the west side of the Sierra Madre Range.  However signs of spring growth made for slow progress and the effort was ceased later that day.  Fullman said that the window of time in which to conduct the burn was very narrow, and another attempt in the area is not likely this year.

The goal of the Sandstone Prescribed Burn is to improve grass growth, shrub age-class distribution, and to reduce fuel loading.

"Due to the green-up that's already happening and the lack of grass and fine fuels in the area, they weren't able to burn as much as they had hoped," says Medicine Bow Routt National Forest spokesperson Aaron Voos.  "We're glad to have, at least, gotten as much done as we did."

Voos goes on to say that the burn took care of approximately 200 acres in the area, however officials were hoping for a 1,500 acre treatment.

"This storm that we just had not only put down a lot of snow in a lot of areas, it also put a lot of moisture on the ground," says Voos.  "Anything that hasn't started greening-up already will start greening-up now.  With these spring prescribed burns it's important to get them accomplished before the green-up happens or the fires won't carry."

For more information on the Medicine Bow Routt National Forest you can visit their website:

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